Sunday, August 9, 2009

Victorino "earns" first career ejection

The Phillies were swept by the Marlins, something that shouldn't happen. But today's loss was an embarrassing one for Major League Baseball, specifically making umpires look bad.

Home-plate umpire Ed Rapuano ejected Shane Victorino in the seventh inning from behind the plate while Shane was positioned in center field. Rapuano had been inconsistent during the entire game, and called Ryan Howard out on strikes in a big situation in the bottom of the sixth on a ball that appeared low. Frustration set in for Ryan Howard and the Phils as they took the field in the seventh.

When Rapuano called a Rodrigo Lopez pitch a ball, Victorino threw his arms up in the air. Rapuano imitated the motion in Victorino's direction before tossing him from the game. Victorino clearly voiced his displeasure, sprinting in from center field and shoving Paul Bako out of the way to give Rapuano a piece of his mind.

Honestly, this is an absolute disgrace. Rapuano should be embarrassed. He was clearly looking for someone to eject from the game, and he had to look about 300 feet to find someone. His quick trigger finger, along with his inconsistent and flat out poor umpiring, took the wind out of the Phils' sails and turned the game into a blowout. Maybe Florida would have won anyway. But the umpire is not supposed to be a big story in the game and Rapuano certainly was. There is no excuse for what he did.

When has a player ever been ejected for a gesture, short of giving an umpire the finger? Major League Baseball needs to look at Rapuano's unprofessional behavior and at least have a serious talk with him, if not issuing disciplinary action. It is a poor reflection on the sport and amid talk of a looming suspension for Victorino, I see no way the league sides with Rapuano's actions in today's game and issues a suspension. If they do, that's an absolute joke as well.

Phillies have plenty of issues, and maybe Wrigley Field will help break some hitters out of their funk and start swinging the bats well again.


  1. He was arguing balls and strikes, inconsistent or not, you can't do that so quit whining.